Friday, October 28, 2016

HALLOWEEN MEMORIES


 
           Here we are closing in on another All Hallows Eve and we might not even need a snowplow to go door to door this year. Sorry about that. I hope I haven’t jinxed it. Time will tell, I suppose.

            I’m fast approaching my sixth decade on the planet so I’ve accumulated a fair number of Halloween memories over the years. There have been years when you’d swear you were trick or treating in Antarctica and then there was that one year…

            Thinking back, I believe there were probably eight or nine years when you are at the age to trick or treat. That’s it! Nine years, if that. Somewhere around six to fourteen years-old, unless you were one of the short ones, and then you could probably stretch it out for another year or two. I gave it up at fourteen, I think, as I found it easier to snitch the treats from my little sister’s bag or the stash in the pantry.

            My first time Trick or Treating was in Lethbridge when I was about six-years-old and we went door to door calling “Halloween Apples” instead of “Trick or Treat”. That was back in a time when you could trust, and welcomed, fruit and home made food treats from the homes. The apples were usually pretty beaten up by the time we dragged them home but Mom could always whip up some Apple Brown Betty with them.

            I wasn’t much of a trickster, though. A little window soaping or egging or something like that, nothing too serious. I just wasn’t that comfortable with the destruction of public property for fun. Just didn’t work for me. Others, mind you, couldn’t get enough of it.

            Back in my high school days, in the early 70’s, Kipling’s Volunteer Fire Department members used to assist in policing the streets on Halloween in an effort to curb the vandalism. Thankfully, you just don’t see the kinds of things that kids used to do in the name of Halloween anymore. Stuff was moved everywhere. Farm implements, lumber, vehicles, hay bales, there was some outhouse tipping going on, of course, maybe a few farm critters were freed for the evening…that kind of thing. There was usually a lot of clean up that’s for sure. I don’t know how long the Fire Department kept up the practice but the real bad stuff soon fizzled out in the late 70’s or early 80’s I think.

            Then there was my best bad choice of Halloween costume. I wasn’t dressing up for Trick or Treating I was dressing up for my first school Halloween Dance. I was in Grade 7, my first year at Lindale School in Moose Jaw and it was the first school dance of the year, and my life, and it was going to be a Halloween dress-up dance.

            Now, here’s where things get foggy. Someone or two or three thought it would be a great idea to dress me up as a girl for the dance. I know!  I have five older sisters and three of them were still living at home at the time and I think it was their grand idea. Well, I know it was. I don’t think the decision was ever in my control.

Oh, but did they have fun on me with their hair pieces and bobby pins and brassieres and nylons and mini skirt and heels and make-up and all. I guess I made a pretty cute girl for a twelve-year-old boy! Not a great choice if you were going to try to catch the eye of Rosemarie Drackett at the school dance or explain to the chaperone why you were in the Boys Washroom! I think I was a ghost every year after that.

Here’s to creating your own Halloween memories. Have a Happy Halloween Everyone!

 

“We used to go around tipping outhouses over, or turning corn shocks on Halloween. Anything to be mean”.-Loretta Lynn (1932-).

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